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Decision details

Corporate Fire Risk Management Strategy & Policy

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

Endorsement and adoption of the Fire Risk Management Strategy for CCC which will cover all council owned buildings (including council housing).

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The Fire Risk Management Strategy (FRMS) set out how Cambridge City Council would implement its Fire Safety Policy. The strategy aimed to reduce the risks posed by fire through a risk based approach, supported by fire safety management processes and procedures to reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i.  Approved the Fire Risk Management Strategy subject to the minor amendments tabled at the committee meeting.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing Maintenance and Assets.  A short list of amendments to the wording within the appendices was tabled which set out the fire prevention and protection measures to achieve the fire safety aim of the Fire Risk Management Strategy (additional wording underlined).

 

As stated in item 1.2 (page 67) 2.2 (Page 70) 3.2.1 (page 72) 3.3.1(page 75) 3.4.1 (page 77) 3.5.1 (page 81)

“……a carbon monoxide alarm where gas installations are present” should be read as “……a carbon monoxide alarm where open flued gas or solid fuel installations are present”

 

As stated in item 1.2 (page 68) “BS 5839:6 2013 recommends an LD3 Grade D system in existing houses and an LD2 Grade D system in new houses.” should be read as: “BS 5839:6 2013 recommends an LD3 Grade D system in existing houses and an LD2 Grade D system in new houses or when materially altered.”

 

As stated in item 3.2.1 (page 72) “BS 5839:6 2013 recommends an LD3 Grade D system in existing flats.” should be read as: “BS 5839:6 2013 recommends an LD3 Grade D system in existing flats and an LD2 Grade D when materially altered.”

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Asked if the Fire Service had seen the strategy.

  ii.  Questioned the compartmentalisation (stay put) strategy.

  iii.  Referred to the Council’s Zero Tolerance Policy on p73 of the agenda, which dealt with means of escape and asked whether the Council would impose a blanket ban of items being placed in shared areas which were means of escape.

  iv.  Questioned how tenants could be convinced to follow a ‘stay put’ policy following the Grenfell tragedy.

  v.  Commented that the Zero Tolerance Policy had been fully debated at Housing Scrutiny Committee and alternative measures could be put in place for residents.  Gave an example in Arbury where residents used to keep bicycles in shared areas and extra bike rack provision had been provided so that bicycles did not need to be stored in shared accessible areas.

 

The Head of Housing Maintenance and Assets and the Corporate Health and Safety and Emergency Planner and said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Confirmed the Fire Service had been consulted in developing the strategy.

  ii.  The compartmentalisation strategy complied with the British Standard. There was an assumption that a building complied with the Fire Strategy unless there was evidence to the contrary.

  iii.  Confirmed the Council owned 8 semi-detached properties which had been converted into flats.

  iv.  A zero tolerance report was brought to the Housing Scrutiny Committee in August, certain concessions had been made but the council were trying to address safety concerns and means of escape out of buildings. Understood that personal space was at a premium in a shared building but this should not be at the expense of the safety to other residents in a shared building.

  v.  Work was being undertaken with the Home Ownership Team and information was being put in the publication ‘Open Door’ to advise tenants about the ‘stay put’ policy. Commented that if members had any further ideas, officers would be happy to explore these.

 

The Executive Councillor referred to paragraph 3.8 of the officer’s report and confirmed that all Council buildings had been checked to ensure that they did not contain materials which were present in the Grenfell accommodation.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation subject to the officer’s tabled amendments.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation subject to the officer’s tabled amendments.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Publication date: 23/01/2020

Date of decision: 07/10/2019